Pain is no fun, and it can be particularly annoying when it affects your feet! Our feet take a beating each and every day, because we wouldn’t get far without them. Standing and walking are about as essential as any activities can be to a person’s day-to-day life, so problems with our feet can be incredibly difficult to live with. That’s why it’s important that you be proactive about your foot health. You only get one pair of feet, so take care of them!
Skip the self-diagnosis
These days, it’s easy to find resources on the web that purport to help you diagnose or even cure problems with your health. There’s only one problem: these websites aren’t doctors. In fact, it can be dangerous to use their sites to self-diagnose your problems, because that can mean that you’re not going to a real doctor when you need to.
It’s easy to imagine that your foot pain might go away if you stayed off your feet for a few days, but that’s not always the case. Alternative medicines and methods aren’t proven. If you have foot pain, the real answer is simple: you need to go to the doctor.
Turn to your doctor for professional help
If you have persistent foot pain, don’t just live with it. Ignoring your foot pain is a huge mistake! Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong, and if you don’t fix whatever’s wrong, the pain will just continue – and grow worse, just as the problem will grow worse. You wouldn’t skip out on repairs or maintenance to your car or to your house, so be sure not to skip out on any care for your body. When your feet cry out in pain, don’t wait too long before heading to the doctor to find out what can be done.
You may not yet have a doctor who deals just with your feet (we’ll talk more about those in the next section), and that’s okay. You can start by calling or visiting your primary care physician – or, if you don’t have one or yours is too busy, you can head to an urgent care center. A primary care doctor has the general knowledge it takes to let you know where you should head next. He or she will ask you a few questions and try to determine what kind of doctor you should go to next in order to solve your problem. In the case of foot pain, your primary care doctor is likely to recommend a foot specialist – a podiatrist.
Podiatrists: the doctors that know feet best
You wouldn’t hire a plumber to redo your floors or a painter to fix your car. So treat your body the same way: head to the right specialists. That doesn’t mean asking your friend for advice or bugging the med student in the family for some free care. No, it means heading to a foot specialist – a podiatrist.
Podiatry is the medicine of feet – including the ankle and every below it. There’s a lot going on in this small area, and the foot pain you’re experiencing could be indicative of a wide range of injuries and ailments. Your feet are full of bones and muscles, and a lot can go wrong down there – especially because they take so much abuse during the day.
There’s no online resource that can match the knowledge and experience of your local podiatrist, so make the right call and head to the expert. You could need anything from medication to surgery, and only your podiatrist will know for sure. With a referral from your primary care doctor, your health insurance should help you absorb the cost.
Ultimately, the important thing is that you get help quickly and head to the right doctors. If you’re experiencing foot pain, it’s time to take steps to head to a podiatrist as soon as possible.